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Todd Parrott joins Premium Motorsports as crew chief

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Todd Parrott, who won the 1999 Cup championship as crew chief for Dale Jarrett, has joined Premium Motorsports in the same role, the team announced Tuesday.

Parrott, who has 31 Cup wins, joins a leadership team that includes owner Jay Robinson, Scott Eggleston, Pat Tryson, Tommy Baldwin and Brian Keselowski.

“The addition of Todd Parrott is the culmination of a plan that started a couple of years ago,” Robinson said in a press release. “We wanted to assemble the most experienced professionals available to our team in an effort to stay relevant and competitive. We are very pleased to have Todd join our staff and are looking forward to this season as we continue to build this team.”

Parrott previously served as crew chief for Michael McDowell at Leavine Family Racing.

“I’m excited for my first day here at Premium Motorsports,” Parrott said in a team release. “I’ve been talking to Jay (Robinson) for about a month or so regarding the possibility of coming here to help him with this program. He has quite a few good people here like Pat Tryson, Scott Eggleston, Brian Keselowski and Tommy Baldwin who I actually worked with before. As I walked around the shop this morning I recognized several other people that I’ve worked with in the past as well, so I’m really looking forward to this new and different opportunity for me here. I just can’t wait to get going and get racing.”

Premium Motorsports will field entries for Danica Patrick and Justin Marks in the Feb. 18 Daytona 500. Patrick will drive the No. 7 Chevrolet and will be paired with crew chief Tony Eury Jr. Marks will drive the No. 51 Chevrolet that is also operated by Rick Ware Racing.

The team also fields entries in the Camping World Truck Series, an operation overseen by Keselowski.

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Florida driver Robby Lyons to make Truck debut Friday at Phoenix

Photo courtesy Robby Lyons Racing
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Robby Lyons will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut in Friday’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix Raceway.

Lyons, 28, of Seminole, Florida, will drive the No. 49 Chevrolet Silverado for Premium Motorsports, with sponsorship from Sunwest Construction and Barstool 49ers.

His crew chief will be Brian Keselowski.

“I think the goal for any driver making their debut, especially on a national stage like the Camping World Truck Series, is to make a statement and show that you belong there,” Lyons said in a media release. “I’ve not been behind the wheel as long as a lot of these guys have, but I feel like my biggest asset is that I’m easily instructed, and I listen well.”

Lyons has previously raced in the ARCA Series, NASCAR Limited Late Model Racing, the CARS Super Late Model Series and Legends National Racing.

“I’m hoping when all is said and done, after the checkered flag (at Phoenix), we all feel as if we’ve accomplished our goal and can look onward toward Homestead-Miami,” Lyons said.

Myatt Snider, son of NBC’s Marty Snider, wins ARCA Racing debut

(Photo courtesy Cunningham Motorsport Twitter account)
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Myatt Snider was just hoping to finish in his ARCA Racing Series debut Sunday at Toledo Speedway.

Snider finished, alright – and with the checkered flag, capturing the victory in the Menards 200 in the 29-driver field.

Son of NBC NASCAR announcer Marty Snider, 21-year-old Myatt Snider started the race from the third position. He drove the No. 22 Cunningham Motorsports Ford Fusion, with sponsorship from The Original Louisiana Hot Sauce, which just signed on as his sponsor for Sunday’s race this past week.

Here’s some social media posts about the younger Snider’s achievement:

Dalton Sargeant finished second, followed by Kyle Weatherman, Chase Briscoe, Matt Kurzejewski, Josh Williams, Gus Dean, Tom Hessert, Brian Keselowski and Bo LeMastus.

Sunday was the first of nine ARCA races Snider will take part in this season. Others coming up include both season races at Pocono Raceway, as well as Michigan International Speedway, Iowa Speedway, Lucas Oil Raceway (Brownsburg, Indiana), Chicagoland Speedway, Kentucky Speedway and Kansas Speedway.

“I hope to win a race for sure,” Snider said last week. “I want to learn all I possibly can about racing the bigger and heavier cars on the bigger tracks.

“It’ll be a huge learning experience getting adapted to the radial tires. I plan on being like a big sponge in soaking up all the knowledge and experience that I possibly can.”

He apparently has learned his lessons well already.

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Long: A year of memorable NASCAR moments, memorable photos

Dustin Long
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The 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season will hold different memories for everybody, but as I looked through pictures on my phone from the past year, I was struck by some special moments – big and small – from this season.

What’s included here aren’t always the most significant events of this season, but unique moments frozen in time.

Here are the pictures that stood out to me as I looked back on the year:

 

2015 - Richard PettyOf course, you can’t overlook the King with his court. Here’s a picture of Richard Petty with that trademark smile about to sign yet another autograph for a fan at Daytona International Speedway in February.

One can only imagine how many times he’s signed his name for fans. And he keeps signing year after year after year.

 

 

 

 

 

This is one of my favorite photos, and it is one I lucked into. I was taking pictures of competitors as they left the drivers meeting at Richmond in September. It wasn’t until after I took the picture that I saw the young boy’s face.

When I posted this picture on social media, several people asked if Johnson walked by the child and ignored him. No, he did not. If you look at what Johnson is holding, it’s a handwritten invitation the boy made for Johnson to attend his birthday party.

2015 Jimmie Johnson and boy

 

2015 Justin Allgaier double duty Justin Allgaier provides new meaning to double duty in NASCAR. Instead of running two races during the weekend, he’s holding his daughter as he signs an autograph at Dover in September.

Her look of contentment as her daddy carries her is priceless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015 Steve Byrnes car

This also was a year to say goodbye. Not only did the sport lose former champion Buddy Baker, among others, it lost Fox broadcaster Steve Byrnes, who died April 21 from cancer. Byrnes lived long enough to see the Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes, which was run April 19.

#ByrnesStrong was common on social media. His final tweet was to a fan asking if he had watched the rain-delayed Bristol race. Byrnes’ wrote: “I went the distance.”

Here’s the hood of Josh Wise‘s car the following week at Richmond.

 

 

 

2015 Greg Ives & Dale Jr at DarlingtonThis is one of my favorite pictures, although it’s not a moment crew chief Greg Ives or Dale Earnhardt Jr. likely will want to recall. This was at Darlington after Earnhardt qualified 26th – his worst starting spot in weeks.

Ives and Earnhardt talked at length on pit road after the first round of qualifying. Earnhardt had been 12th in practice, and this qualifying effort left both perplexed. Earnhardt went on to finish eighth in the Southern 500.

What makes this one of my favorite photos is the just the clean design of the Valvoline logo on the back of both men and the deep discussion taking place.

 

 

 

 

 

2015 Kevin Harvick at Dover IAnother picture that caught my eye as I went through my phone was this shot I took of Kevin Harvick at Dover in May.

With his car and crew gone, Harvick is left alone in his garage stall during a practice session, but his helmet is nearby for when the car is ready to go back on to the track.

Harvick finished that second that weekend. When the Cup series returned in September, he needed to win to advance to the second round of the Chase and did so.

 

 

 

 

 

The Southern 500 returned to Labor Day weekend and Darlington Raceway and the sport went retro. More than a dozen NASCAR Hall of Famers attended the race. Here are five (left to right): Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Richard Petty, Leonard Wood and Rusty Wallace.

For those counting, there are 13 championships and 520 victories represented in this picture.

2015 NASCAR Hall of Famers

 

2015 Brian Keselowski & sister Dawn at Dega IIBrian Keselowski hugs his sister Dawn after the Camping World Truck race at Talladega. It was his first Truck race, and he drove for younger brother, Brad’s team.

Brian Keselowski was fourth before the final restart when he ran out of fuel. He finished 17th. Afterward, he and his sister commiserated and celebrated.

 

 

 

2015 Ryan Newman & daughter

Ryan Newman and his daughter enjoyed some father-daughter time before the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

I like how this shows the calm for one driver before a race.

 

 

 

 

 

2015 Aric Almirola at Southern 500 (1)Aric Almirola with his salute to the throwback theme at Darlington Raceway for this year’s Southern 500. Nothing else needs to be said.

 

 

 

 

2015 Daytona II fence

The video of Austin Dillon’s crash after the end of the July Daytona race was horrifying. But standing near the destroyed segment of fencing, one saw how truly ferocious the accident was.

This is a reminder of the dangers that these drivers face when they strap into their cars. Fortunately, Austin Dillon was not injured in this incident.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a moment I’ll never forget. I made it to Jeff Gordon‘s car after his final Sprint Cup race and watched him climb out. Shortly after he exited the car, team owner Rick Hendrick came through the crowd. Hendrick and Gordon embraced three times.

What Gordon struggled to say to Hendrick without crying during his speech at the Sprint Cup Awards in Las Vegas was quite evident in this moment.

2015 Jeff Gordon & Rick Hendrick

Austin Cindric to drive BKR’s No. 29 truck at Martinsville

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Brad Keselowski Racing announced that the next driver to fill in for the injured Austin Theriault in the No. 29 truck will be Austin Cindric.

Cindric, 17, will make his Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR debut this weekend with the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway. It will be the second race missed by Theriault since suffering a compression fracture at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Cindric has won four races in Global Rally Cross Lites competition this season and is the youngest winner ever in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge after winning at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. He is the son of Team Penske president Tim Cindric.

“I’m really looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the Cooper Standard Ford F-150 and can’t thank Brad enough for this opportunity,” Cindric said in a press release. “I’ve never been to Martinsville so it’ll be a whole new experience.

“I’ll just take it lap by lap and absorb as much information as possible. I just need to make sure I gain the respect of the competitors because I’m new to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. I have no expectations. I’ll just take what the weekend brings me and go from there.”

The 17-year-old driver also has two starts in ARCA in 2015 with one top-five finish.

The first driver to replace Theriault was Brad Keselowski’s older brother, Brian. Brian Keselowski led 10 laps and finished 17th at Talladega Superspeedway after having to pit for fuel late.

“One of the things I wanted to do at BKR is give talented young drivers an opportunity,” Keselowski said in a press release. “Austin Cindric already has an incredibly diverse racing background. We’re happy to give him an opportunity in the Cooper Standard Ford F-150 at Martinsville to learn what it’s like to compete at a high level in NASCAR and to gain experience so he’ll be prepared to take the next step in his career.”